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Saint Of The Day For January 18: Saint Prisca

According to an ancient tradition, Prisca would have been baptised at the age of thirteen by St Peter and, as her Roman name suggests, would have been the ‘first’ woman in the West to bear witness to her faith in Christ through martyrdom.

The Roman protomartyr would have been beheaded in the mid-first century.


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There is no certain information about Saint Prisca, partly because three different people are often referred to.

Prisca, a martyr, founder of the church on the Aventine, mentioned in the 5th century on a funerary epigraph now kept in the cloister of St Paul Outside the Walls, is the saint remembered today.

A second, she is the wife of Aquila, who is mentioned in Acts 17:2 and 18:

“Here he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had arrived shortly before from Italy, with his wife Priscilla, following the order of Claudius that expelled all the Jews from Rome….

Paul stayed several more days, then took leave of his brothers and embarked for Syria, in the company of Priscilla and Aquila’.

Finally, a martyr Prisca is recorded in the 7th century Itineraries in the catacombs of Priscilla.

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